The girl hesitated a moment. “he is not
The doctor wheeled slowly round in his
chair, with a smile that seemed to accuse her
of an epigram, but extremes meet, and cath-
erine had not intended one. “it is not to bid
him goodbye, then?” her father said.
“no, Father, not that; at least, not forever.
i have not seen him again, but i should like to
see him,” catherine repeated.
The doctor slowly rubbed his under lip
with the feather of his quill.
“have you written to him?”
“Yes, four times.”
One father is more than a hundred
schoolmasters. —George Herbert, c. 1625
“You have not dismissed him, then. Once
would have done that.”
“no,” said catherine; “i have asked him—
asked him to wait.”
“You are a dear, faithful child,” he said at
last. “come here to your father.” and he got up,
holding out his hands toward her.
The words were a surprise, and they gave
her an exquisite joy. she went to him, and he
put his arm round her tenderly, soothingly, and
then he kissed her. after this he said, “do you
wish to make me very happy?”
“i should like to—but i am afraid i can’t,”
“You can if you will. it all depends on your
“is it to give him up?” said catherine.
“Yes, it is to give him up.”
“You are happier than i, Father,” she said,
“i have no doubt you are unhappy just now.
But it is better to be unhappy for three months
and get over it, than for many years and never
get over it.”
“Yes, if that were so,” said catherine.
“it would be so; i am sure of that.” she an-
swered nothing, and he went on. “have you no
faith in my wisdom, in my tenderness, in my
solicitude for your future?”
“Oh, Father!” murmured the girl.
“don’t you suppose that i know something
of men: their vices, their follies, their falsities?”
“i can’t believe that!”
“i don’t ask you to believe it, but to take it
“he has never done anything—he is a
“Oh Father, don’t abuse him!” she ex-
“i don’t mean to abuse him; it would be a
great mistake. You may do as you choose,” he
added, turning away.
“i may see him again?”
“Just as you choose.”
“Will you forgive me?”
“By no means.”
“it will only be for once.”
“i don’t know what you mean by once.
You must either give him up or continue the
“i wish to explain—to tell him to wait.”
“to wait for what?”
“till you know him better—till you consent.”
“don’t tell him any such nonsense. i know
him well enough, and i shall never consent.”
“But we can wait a long time,” said poor
catherine, in a tone which was meant to express
the humblest conciliation, but which had upon